Dragonmead Final Absolution Trippel - Dragonmead Microbrewery

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Dragonmead Final Absolution TrippelDragonmead Final Absolution Trippel

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493 Ratings

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Ratings: 493
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 12.04%
Wants: 48
Gots: 85 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Dragonmead Microbrewery visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 08-12-2002

Dragonmead's signature product! This is the ultimate Belgian style. The very high gravity of this beer is balanced by the smoothness of its finish. Banana and Clove aromas come from the Belgian yeast strain combining with the generous dose of Belgian Candi Sugar. The Saaz hops help to give this beer a balanced bitterness with no noticeable hop aroma.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 493 | Reviews: 207
Reviews by HarrySTruman:
Photo of HarrySTruman
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a tulip

Gold color, near yellow, small head with minimal lacing. Looks very clear and crisp.

Smells of fruits and malt. Banana is very apparent, other tropical fruits seem hidden.

The taste is truly fantastic. This is the only tripel that I have had from the states that I feel rivals the best of Belgium. It is very close to the Belgian style, but it has it's own unique take. The alcohol is apparent in the taste, but not overbearing. Banana, apricot, tropical fruits, malt, a slight hoppy bitter flavor. It's a very complex taste, but very drinkable.

Not too carbonated. Very drinkable. Slightly "thick", but it matches the style well.

About as good a tripel as I have ever had. Certainly the best I have made in Michigan, and unless I am forgetting one, the best I have had made in the U.S. I honestly believe it competes favorably with La Fin Du Monde for the best tripel made in NA.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had both in many bottles and on tap many times and the Town Pump bar in Detroit. Pours a somewhat hazy, golden-amber color; heavy cloudiness in the middle, fairly volatile with a large, foamy white head that dissipates surprisingly quick. The aroma is great - baskets of sweet, earthy esters, spicy Belgian yeast and bread, clove, white pepper, phenol alcohol, bananas, apple skins, pears, and a nice whiff of bubble gum. The taste is no slouch, either. Final Absolution hits the palate soft and slightly silky, medium-bodied and with a high amount of carbonation. Belgian yeast flavors - bready, spicy clove, pepper, banana esters, earth, and bubble gum - dominate the palate. Some floral and perfume-like hop notes hit up front with a very short and sweet bitterness that quickly gives way to the rest of the flavor profile. The aftertaste is heavy on the bread and yeast flavors, like you would expect from any decent Tripel.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

"'Tis better to curse the darkness than to light thy hand on fire," sayeth the label.

Pours a fairly clear, rich golden color with slightly hazy, burnt orange hues, topped with a most-worthy, creamy head that drops to a healthy looking lace with stick. Aroma drops notes of yeast, fresh apples, must, peppery alcohol, green banana and soft bubble gum or even taffy. Smooth and even consistency on the palate, medium-bodied, with a building creaminess. Some hoppiness up front with a gentle dose of bitterness, leafiness, and more raw banana and lingering taffy. Soft floral. Quite yeasty, too, providing some roughness and breadiness. Thin candy sweetness, but well attenuated, like a good Tripel should be, and dry, with just enough residuals to keep it from being bone-dry. Finishes bready with a light peppery back.

Pretty damn spot-on, especially for an American brewer. Many tend to allow their Tripels to finish way too sweet and often fruity, and not so Belgian. We'll gladly light our hands on fire for another.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle pours into my glass a slightly hazy golden yellow-orange with a half inch of white head on top. Patchy lacing sticks to the side of the glass as the head quickly falls. Aromas of crisp, earthy, grainy malts along with a nice light fruity undertone. Peppery spiciness is present with yeast accents. Mild green apple, banana, clove. Fairly nice.

First sip brings a crisp grainy, earthen malt upfront that moves into light fruity tones as it goes across the palate. Slight bread flavors as well. The yeast kicks in with peppery tones alongside light banana and clove notes. It flows down a bit dry and the finish leaves me with quite a noticeable alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel is crisp and creamy with a bit of sharpness to it as well. The graininess comes through quite a bit on the finish and the alcohol is a bit too pronounced in my opinion, making it a little harder to fully enjoy the brew. Overall, this one failed to really wow me, I'd probably choose another Dragonmead offering before this next time.

Photo of warnerry
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours orange brown with lits of suspended yeast, even with a careful pour, and about half a finger of off-white head. Head dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S - Candi sugar, some pepper and clove, bubblegum and faint lemon. Just a touch of alcohol.

T - Taste starts with lemon and candi sugar. This is followed by pepper, clove, and a prominent bubblegum taste. Finish brings a bit more spice, a bit of banana and more bubblegum, along with a faint bitterness. Very tasty.

M - Medium mouthfeel starts with some sticky sweetness and transitions to a semi-dry and slightly bitter finish with a bit of numbing alcohol.

O - Nice take on the style and a very tasty brew. Nice local option when I'm in the mood foe a tripel.

Photo of Todd
3.89/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I fell in love with Dragonmead and its crew back at the 2001 GABF, so when BA sakaroo offered up a sample, I could not resist!

Pours a hazy amber with copper hues, topped with a snapping white foam head that dissipates quickly to a ring lace. A dusting of sediment is left in the bottle.

Sweet to the nose, with notes of fresh bread, soft white pepper and plenty of clove.

Smooth, hard water mouthfeel, a bit thick-ish. Plenty of tea-like sweetness and herbal character, backed by a dominant, and aggressive spicy/yeast character, more pepper, phenols and faint grass that rounds the soft bitterness. Warming alcohol presence. Some toasted malts, caramel and blossom honey characters are also present. More clove. Bubblegum flavours pull through as the beer warms, toward the end, where the beer finishes with yeast residuals. Pretty decent tripel, complex and tasty.

Photo of Kbrowder
2.03/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not impressed with the taste or smell.

Photo of jsolack
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear and red... nice fluffy head. Heavy lacing after head starts to recied.

Smells nice... banana and hops. Slight alcohol smell. Scent is sweet overall... very nice.

Strong banana and carmel taste. Very sweet and smooth. Alcohol comes through in finish. Very smooth finish is not bitter at all.

Coats tongue with sweet caramel like texture. Carbonation is at a very nice level.

Very good brew... hard to drink a bunch just because of the high alcohol content. Very smooth finish and overall a very satisfying brew.

Photo of chinchill
3.54/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured hazy light golden-amber with a decent head from a 12oz bottle.

Fruity, with hints of apricot nectar and light spicing.
Lightly sweet, but faintly bitter aftertaste. Moderate complexity.

Near medium body with medium, soft carbonation

O: very good American version.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured rom a 12oz into my Piraat tulip. White sticker on the side with "7 05" If this is the freshness date it mean this bottle is 3 months old.

Thin off-white head over a hazy orange-amber body. Smells of sweet malts, orange, cloves, notes of pepper and a touch of hops. The taste strikes a good balance between sweet and spicy. Belgian candi sugar sweetness provides a base for the orange citrus, clove and pepper. Alcohol is present but does not dominate. Crisp in the mouth, but finishes smooth and clean.

This is a very enjoyable tripel. The booze is warming, but subdued enough to let the malts and spice come through. Complex and well-balanced.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a thick hazy apricot body with a matrix of tiny bubbles racing to the surface. Three is a thick yellowish- white head that last for a good bit and sticks to the side of the glass.

S- The smell of banana is big with a light pear smell followed by a candy sugar sweetness that finishes with a faint undertone of green hops.

T- The taste is big candied banana with a clove spice to it followed by a sweet honey note and a light watery taste. As the beer warms there is a faint bubblegum quality that adds a good bit of depth. The finish has a soft fusel alcohol and a soft hops bitterness.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat.

D- The yeasty fruit flavors are a bit overpowering but the sweetness blends well with the softer hops.

Photo of Brenden
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A hazy amber-colored brew is transfered from tap to glass, and it's got a white head, initially of moderate size but going wispy with time, though some foam is always there. Lacing is light on the glass.
There's a beautiful spicy, soft, sweet blend of banana and clove in the aroma. Yeast is pure, just offering those soft notes and no graininess or anything interfering. Soft apple flesh and a very light dust, a sort of gentle earthiness, round it out for impressive depth.
The taste follows suit, and what's impressive is the attention to detail, the smoothness in how the flavors meld, and the lack of anything else to take away. It's a fantastic marriage of softness and strength. A little bit of bubble gum, a peppery bite, the banana and clove I hope for and that the nose provides, light, far from cloying candi sugar sweeness, just a kiss of herbal hops; this beer's got it going on.
The body is smooth, with a soft but firm crispness. It's creamy, with a light to medium body.

Photo of duffcalifornia
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle (bottled 10.05.10) into a Chimay chalice

A: A delightfully murky gold color. Poured 3/4 into the chalice and it formed less than half an inch of thin wispy head which quickly disappeared, allowing me to pour the rest of the bottle into the chalice.

S: Good smell of bananas with hints of cinnamon, and perhaps clove

T: Spice notes on the front, with a predominance of clove, followed by a slight alcohol finish with hints of banana.

M: Nice and smooth, yet seeming just a bit lacking for something with this body IMO

D: I'm torn here. This is a decent trippel, and the strength of it is well hidden until you're about halfway through the chalice. I remember trying this at the Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beerfest for a couple years and thinking this was one of the best every time I was there, consistently going back for more. However, as I taste this now, I notice more of the alcohol taste than I used to, and would probably stop after one bottle in an evening. This is not to diminish from it's quality, it's just not quite what I remember in my head.

Overall, an very good brew that deserves to be tried if you get the opportunity.

Photo of king75
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- a dirty golden yellow color, very little head. Very cloudy but in a good way.

S-banana cloves and wheat

T- Can definitely taste the banana cloves and the wheat. Very gritty in feel starts out bitter with the wheat and hops coming through. Finishes light and sweet with a buttery banana taste. Pretty well balanced.

D- Is lower just because of the gritty nature of the beer.

Notes: not a bad beer just not a huge fan of this style of beer. Worth trying but I probably wont go out of my way to try it again.

Photo of cokes
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear blood orange under a small and sturdy dirty white cap.
Enormously fragrant. Bananas and candied mangoes and pears. Brown sugar and clove and pepper.
Begins all Munich maltified. Caramelly sweet, and even somewhat toasty. Dark fruit, too, is suggested briefly, but never located for certain. It almost seems a Belgianized Octoberfest, or perhaps more of a Dubbel right away. Gradually, it assembles more traditional Tripel hues. Dripping with honey and full of sugared fruits of tropical (and not-so-tropical) origin. Mangoes, guava, pears, red apples and bananas. Spice is a steadfast offsetter. Cracked peppercorns and cloves. Flashes of alcohol- very rummy, especially upfront- though it seems to lose heat as it warms and takes on a more solvent-like persona, yet one devoid of actual booze. Ends botanical, with lingering fruit punch sugars.
It's a bit heavy and clumsy, (as many US tripels seem to be), but that is easily overcome here.
Pretty nice.

Thanks inebrius.

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub, a most interesting place. The highest recommended to me. Lots of lace, cloudy orange and white ring head. Decent body, suitable though aggressive carbonation. Some fruitiness. Yeasty aroma.On sweet side, sugar, and also spiciness.

Photo of prototypic
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Final Absolution pours a very hazy copper color. Light cuts through and gives it orange highlights. A soft, white mass of bubbles collects on the surface, but doesn’t rise much further. It dissipates quickly, leaving very light strands of lace lining the glass.

The nose is pretty impressive. It kicks off with a really nice, spicy yeast scent. Clove and pepper are easily noted and are complemented very well by a healthy dose of banana. The yeast smells somewhat Belgian in character, but I’d like it to be a little closer. It does have a sweet smell to it. Maybe a touch of caramel. Alcohol is noted and seems maybe just a tad strong.

The flavor is likewise good. The yeast has a very strong impact on the flavor throughout. It is spicy, featuring nice clove and pepper flavors. There’s a little banana, but not as much as the nose suggested. Still tastes nice. It is definitely on the sweet side. It does taste like caramel and seems to separate itself from the authentic Belgian Tripels in that regard. Secondary flavors include light apple and floral hops. Alcohol is a little too strong in flavor. It isn’t warm at all though. Good stuff.

Final Absolution has a medium body and light carbonation. Feels nice and smooth. Not quite authentic Belgian smooth, but good nonetheless. Goes down pretty well.

Final Absolution is my first beer from Dragonmead Microbrewery. For an American Tripel, it really is pretty impressive. It’s not quite on par with the elite Tripels out there, but it’s definitely good. Its biggest problems are that it’s overly sweet and a little too boozy in flavor. Other than that, it really does perform pretty well. If you’re in a pinch for a pretty solid Tripel, Final Absolution is worthy of your attention.

Photo of beerluvr
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured with an ivory colored head over clear brassy/amber liquid. Banana and tropical fruitiness in the nose amidst a malty background. Taste was more tropical/banana flavors, malty sweetness with nice hoppy bitterness behind it all...almost a lighter bodied Quadrupel in taste. Gentle carbonation gives a smooth flowing mouthfeel. Alcohol looms in the back, not to steal the show, but rather as a reminder of the power of this beer style. Finishes fruity and sweet with lingering alcohol notes. A slightly ballsy take on the style, well done.

Thanks to CRJM for the bottles!

Photo of poland7
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have been going to Dragonmead for a while and this beer is by far one of my top ten.

The color is very nice and golden, it drinks smooth and has a little bit of a fruity taste (al be it a very slight fruity taste)

As is the case with all triples the ABV is nice and high but the beauty with this beer is that it doesn't have a very strong overpowering alcohol taste. This beer is perfect for just sitting outside on a hot day.

I have never had it in a bottle so I cannot speak to that, however on tap or from a freshly filled Growler this beer is on of my favorites.

Photo of Kegatron
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a clear gold color with a thin brite-white head and some great retention around the edges and spotty lacing. The aroma is apples, bananas, spice, sweet maltiness, and yeast.

The tastes is similar to the aroma profile, with an in your face fruit one-two punch of banana and apple, clove and coriander notes, candied sweetness, and some pleasant yeasty accents. The mouthfeel is unbelievably smooth and creamy with just about a hint of alcohol beef in the body and that's absolutley it.

This is one of the best American Tripels I've had, with some lively flavors and an unbelievable drinkibility for a 9% beer. This was the gem of our visit when we checked out this surprising gem of a brewpub.

Photo of nortmand
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours light amber/dark golden with a whitehead and lots of lace.

Banana-clove dominayes the smell. Some alcohol comes across as well.

Flavor starts off with a distinct graininess, then is totally huge banana ester. Ends with some alcoholic sourness.

Full bodied and greasy with alcohol, this is an aggressive beer.

Photo of gotweid
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap. Small head when brought to the table. Big lacing. A little cloudy and orangish in color. Aroma is sweet and spicy as is the flavor. A little malty as well. I thought the bitterness was light to medium, the spice good and the sweetness a little strong. Too sweet for my tastes. Medium bodied. Slightly peppery. It does have a nice, dry, well carbonated feel and the aftertaste was pleasant and didn't linger.

Photo of nmyers
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden almost orange, very thick looking, nice light white head, with good retention.

S- Yeasty with a fruity smell, Bananas mostly.

T- Very sweet and smooth with bananas right off the bat, with a nice blast of yeast on the finish. Not a lot of alcohol taste.

M- Very smooth and goes down easy.

D- This will get you, it goes down really smooth. It has a nice sweet finish and no bitterness.

Photo of morimech
3.31/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a slight haze. Half finger of head forms and quickly settles to a thin film. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left down the glass.

Does not smell like a tripel to this drinker. Smells like popcorn. Just the slightest hint of yeast esters in the background.

Thankfully it tastes better but far from the classics in the style. Did the yeast misbehave in this batch? Pale malt flavor with some phenols. Some honey flavor as well. No sign of alcohol.

Good amount of heft to the body. Nicely carbonated.

That concludes my reviews of Dragonmead beers I collected during my recent Michigan trip. I would put Dragonmead on the 2nd tier of Michigan breweries. Consistancy seems to be their issue and that is probably the case with this beer.

Photo of Beertracker
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dragonmead Final Absolution Trippel is best served at cool cellar (40-45°F) temperatures from a tulip or pear shaped stemmed glass or chalice. This microbrewed Belgian-style Tripel pours up with a small, lacy whitish head that's barely sustanable over a rather hazy, deep golden-ochre body. The clarity suffers initially from chill-haze, but becomes brighter as it warms in hand. The initial aroma is relatively clean & unremarkable, but as it comes to room temperature it becomes filled with an intermingling of spicy (cracked black peppercorns, coriander), and grassy (cilantro, lemongrass), plus fruity (Applejack, freshly grated lemon-rind, craisin) notes. There's some notable alcoholic warmth and just hint of Zatec hops underlying. The mild flavor starts off a little cloying with a sweet candi sugar maltiness, but this eventually gives way to some spicy, hop bitterness that compliments and balances nicely towards the warming finish. It's easy to see why this one won the gold medal at the 2006 World Beer Cup. This is a finely crafted microbrewed tripel and as good as any you'll likely find in the US. Give penance to Dragonmead Final Absolution!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Taster's Note: *Special thanks to arrogantbastard1 for procuring a bottle!

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Dragonmead Final Absolution Trippel from Dragonmead Microbrewery
91 out of 100 based on 493 ratings.